Abstract 355: Are Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVAD) Underutilized in Heart Failure? A Pilot Survey of Provider Assessment of LVAD Candidacy and Referral
Background: Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation is a new therapy for advanced heart failure (HF). The number of HF patients eligible for LVAD and the cardiology providers’ comfort level with referral for LVAD remains unclear.
Objective: To assess provider perception of LVAD candidacy and LVAD referral patterns in consecutive HF patients.
Methods: Providers completed a survey for each HF patient seen between March 1, 2013 and April 26, 2013. The survey listed standard LVAD candidacy criteria and asked 1) if a patient was an LVAD candidate (yes, no, unsure); 2) reasons patients were not LVAD candidates (check list, table); and 3) whether the patient had been referred for LVAD evaluation (yes, no, unsure).
Results: Patients (n=522) were seen in a tertiary HF outpatient clinic (n=357; 68%), a tertiary HF inpatient service (n=36; 7%), a tertiary general cardiology service (n=45; 9%) or a community based outpatient cardiac clinic (n=84; 16%) Median age of patients was 73 years and 65% were male. Provider assessment of LVAD candidacy was “no” in 443 (85%), “yes” in 35 (7%) and “unsure” in 43 (8%) with ineligibility for LVAD attributed to multiple concerns (Table). Ninety percent of patients considered “too old” for LVAD were over 78 years of age. Provider designation of LVAD candidacy as yes or unsure varied across practice setting: tertiary HF outpatient clinic, 12%; tertiary HF inpatient service, 42%; tertiary general cardiology service, 22%; and community based outpatient cardiac clinic, 13%. In patients with a provider designation of LVAD candidacy as yes or unsure (n=78), only 21 (27%) patients had been referred for LVAD evaluation.
Conclusion: When provided with LVAD candidacy criteria, providers indicated 15% of HF patients were (7%) or were possibly (8%) LVAD candidates but indicated that few patients had undergone a formal LVAD evaluation. These data suggest that measures to improve evaluation of HF patients for LVAD are needed.
Author Disclosures: J.L. Foxen: None. J. Wagner: None. J. Gatzke: None. J. Nagel: None. J. Prinsen: None. M. Freund: None. T. Blank: None. R. Houlihan: None. R. Monnahan-Chicos: None. S. Birchem: None. S. Kushwaha: None. L. Joyce: None. M. Redfield: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.